By Matt Solensky | Jamestown
I am writing in response to Rob Port's erroneous opinion piece that appeared in the Jamestown Sun on Feb. 15, 2021, "Texas blackouts are a chilly breeze for North Dakota's wind proponents”.
In his piece, Port claims that the recent power outages in Texas were largely to blame because of the unreliability of wind-powered generators. A quick and easy internet search reveals that this is simply not true ("Why the Texas power grid is struggling to cope with the extreme cold," by Umair Irfan in Vox). While wind turbines did indeed freeze, it has been reported that the majority of power produced in Texas is done with natural gas. The natural gas pipelines also clogged with ice during the abnormal conditions as did coal piles, further compounding the problem.
In the article I cited by Irfan, the author goes to great length to explain all of the issues at hand with the power failures. Toward the end of the article it is stated that “It’s too reductive to blame any individual factor like intermittent renewable energy, fossil fuel generator shutdowns, decrepit infrastructure, or inadequate planning…” The opinion piece by Port is the usual half-truth I have come to expect from him.